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Wednesday, 01 February 2012 00:00
If you can make it out, this is one of the most beautiful gardens we have ever seen! Talk about a great use of space. This is an installation at "The Midnight" in downtown Gainesville. This is a self sufficient wall garden...imagine if we all had gardens on the side of our house if we didnt have any ground garden space in our yards.
Sunday, 01 January 2012 00:00
Healthy Maternity: Reducing Toxic Exposures In HospitalsExpert OpinionThursday, December 15, 2011 ShareThis
by Diba Tillery, RN, BSN, IBCLC, CPST, and Founder of BABIES 411
As a neonatal ICU nurse, lactation consultant, Clinical Nurse Educator and member of the Health Care Without Harm's Nurses Work Group, I am passionate about the health and well-being of our babies and children. This was the reason I developed Babies411.com. Several years ago, when I was in the development phase of my business, I learned about the toxicants that our children (and we) are exposed to on a daily basis (read about my ah-ha moment here). From that day on, it has been my mission to educate parents and health care providers about toxics and how to reduce our everyday exposure. I knew that I had to inform my colleagues about this and look to introduce safer products into our hospitals.
Currently, I have a very supportive manager who shares in the desire to improve our unit to better protect the health of our babies, especially our NICU babies. We have begun to purchase items for our unit that are DEHP-free, PVC-free and free of harmful toxics. And thanks to a generous program from Naturepedics, we were able to obtain organic crib mattresses for ALL of our cribs for FREE! We are making changes and it feels good!
Here's how YOU can get started!
Connecting with the "Right" People at Your Local Hospital/Childbirth Facility
This can be somewhat difficult. Maternal Child Health managers and directors are usually overworked, running from meeting to meeting and not readily available to take phone calls from concerned parents. The good news is that the facilities do want to hear how they can better serve you. Hospitals are well aware that women are the driving force when it comes to making the decision for where the family will receive their care. So, this is your leverage.
- Try contacting nurses in the nursery and tell them of your concerns and ask them to transfer you to someone (like the manager or director of the nursery or NICU) who can help you get more information.
- When you take a tour of the hospital, ask your tour guide to help direct you to someone to talk to about this matter.
- Bring up this question during your childbirth education classes.
- Talk to your OB/GYN and/or midwife and discuss your concerns with them and see if there is anything that he/she can do to get this information into the right hands. (Be prepared to share the resources found later in this article).
- Talk to the hospital's lactation consultant.
- If you have a pediatrician, ask them for assistance in getting this information to the staff.
Whichever avenue you to choose to take, just remember that these things take time to implement and financing is a big road block. So be patient and understanding with your local facility. Until then, bring your own products to the hospital.
FOR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS:
Below are some evidence-based articles discussing toxics:
Here are some great resources for you to learn more about toxics and what professional organizations are doing to raise awareness:
Toolkits to help you get started and FREE CEUs:
Are you a health care professional or organization that is looking to make positive changes in your maternity unit and are not sure how to tackle a project like this? Contact me and let's work together to reduce chemicals to protect moms and their babies.
By becoming knowledgeable about this issue and looking to help protect our most vulnerable population, fetuses, infants and children, we can help to improve not only our lives, but the lives of many. Let's take the steps necessary to start making our maternity units healthier and start educating families as soon as possible so that they are able to make positive changes in their lives to help improve their reproductive health, prenatal health, postnatal health and the health of their children and families.
Editor's Note: This blog was originally posted at Babies411.com and has been edited for length. Please visit Diba's site for the entire piece that includes many more resources for both parents and health professionals.
Read more: http://healthychild.org/blog/comments/healthy_maternity_reducing_toxic_exposures_in_hospitals/#ixzz1heUjEzrp
Gainesville say “NO!” to mountaintop removal coal mining!
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 16:32
Gainesville say “NO!” to mountaintop removal coal mining!
Currently, nearly 60% of the coal that Gainesville Regional Utilities
(GRU) uses to power our community’s homes and businesses is mined using an incredibly destructive practice known as mountaintop removal (for more details on mountaintop removal and our community’s connection, please
Food Issues: Corn vs. Sugar Smack Down
Sunday, 23 October 2011 16:21
by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, CEO/Executive Director, Healthy Child Healthy World Many of us at Healthy Child Healthy World are a wee bit obsessed with Citizens For Health’s new FoodIdentityTheft.com website. How could you not be riveted to breaking food industry news? ...
What makes a product Green?
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 18:14
There are many reasons because "Green" and "Green Building" apply not just to products but to construction strategies, building design and orientation, landscaping, building operations, maintenance etc. It is a big question that applies to the impact of buildings on humans and the environment. Below are a few examples.
When we want to know if a product is "Green" we need to ask the following questions:
Where does the product come from?
Does it deplete the environment during production and transportation?
Is it a renewable resource or not?
What chemicals does it contain or not contain?
How does it affect human health and the environment during and after production and installation?
What is the environmental impact on a building's operation?
and so on.
Answering these questions may not be as easy as it seems. Here are a few real life examples:
6 Green Building Myths
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 18:11
Six Myths about "Green" Building
If you're considering building or remodeling a home or office and are faced with doubts about whether to build Green, perhaps this article will offer some inspiration.
Here are the Six Myths:
Myth #1 Building Green is more expensive.
Myth #2 Green Products don't really help the environment.
Myth #3 If it's zero VOC or VOC compliant it must be Green.
Myth #4 Green Building is still new and not as efficient as traditional building.
Myth #5 Green Building may work in California but it won't work here.
Myth #6 If it has a Green Label it must be Green.
Myth #1 Building Green is more expensive.
This is the biggest myth because "expensive" is a relative term. More expensive than what?
Expensive today loses meaning when life-cycle costs are considered. Many green building designs, strategies, materials and practices can and do save everyone money because they generally reduce energy costs, labor costs, and medical costs now and in the future. How?
In general, Green Building improves indoor air quality, health, and the productivity of its occupants. They last a longer time, require fewer resources to develop and are usually more aesthetically pleasing. Resale values of Green buildings are usually greater than those that are conventionally built.
When we consider the cost benefits of Green Building on energy savings, worker productivity, safer indoor air quality for tenants and homeowners, longevity of the building, small environmental footprint, etc., then the initial expenses don't seem so great. Green products may cost more initially, but in the long run, they will often save or make you money. Here are three examples:
Paul Elliott And Keystone XL
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 15:30
WASHINGTON -- Environmentalists on Tuesday called on the Department of Justice to investigate a Canadian oil lobbyist who failed to disclose his status as a foreign agent, specifically that he had served as a former aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, before lobbying the State Department on ...
Buy Ecofriendly Clothing
Friday, 02 September 2011 18:03
Buying Eco-friendly Clothing
What do you wear to work? Synthetic fabrics may require expensive dry cleaning involving potent chemicals that can contribute to air and water pollution when not handled properly. The alternative?
Check the label. Avoid clothing that requires dry cleaning.
Choose cotton and wool. Natural fibers are easier to care for at home. Often they can be washed in cool water and hung out to dry, reducing chemical use and energy, too.
Try fabric blends. Fabrics that are a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers can usually be laundered at home.
Dress down. Fancier outfits seem to require more dry cleaning than casual wear. Encourage your office to implement a "casual day" on Fridays.
Dressing Right For Mother Nature
You can dress like you really care for the earth - by buying clothing made from fibers produced with few or no pesticides.
- Organic cotton clothing includes t-shirts, blouses, stockings, and sweaters. Some organic cottons require little or no dyeing because they grow in pale colors, such as green, brown and white.
- Fabric made from fast-growing, low-impact hemp is being used in gloves, jackets, shoes and sandals, among many other fashion mainstays and accessories.
- Energy-saving recycled polyester is being made into pullovers, jackets, vests, and footwear.
Look for natural clothing alternatives, particularly in eco-catalogues, at various outfitter shops and on the Internet. Check consignment shops and yard sales for perfectly good "recycled" clothes, especially for kids!
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